Seven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #3) by Eloisa James

Seven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #3) by Eloisa James

All of Eugenia Snowe’s problems start when Edward Reeve, an arrogant bastard son of an earl, bursts into her registry office. He wants a governess and he wants her. She gives him the governess he demands, but she refuses to give herself.

No question that Eugenia enjoys crossing wits with the brilliant inventor, but she will never tarnish her reputation with an affaire, particularly with a man who doesn’t realise she’s a lady!

She holds her ground…until he kidnaps her.

Ward will stop at nothing to convince Eugenia that they’re meant to be together. He promises her heaven.

She gives him seven minutes.

Seven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #3) by Eloisa James

I don’t understand the “Desperate Duchesses” name for this series. Nobody is desperate, nor is anybody a duchess!

There is no question that Eloisa James can write beautifully, and that her characterisations (particularly for the child characters) are fantastic. This was my first Eloisa James book, and I will seek out more of her work, but Seven Minutes in Heaven didn’t work that well for me for a number of reasons.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book. On one hand, all I could think after reading the blurb was: Will this fad for governess agency stories EVER end?!

On the other hand, Eloisa James is one of the best-known names in the historical romance genre, and I knew that had to be for a reason. I figured that if anyone was going to manage to interest me in yet another governess agency story, it was probably her.

You never know when starting with a new HR author what end of the spectrum they’ll land on. Light and fluffy? Dark and serious? I found James to be towards the lighter end, but what grounded her work were her more complex characterisations. In fact, the characters I liked the best were the hero’s two much younger half-siblings.

Children in books can be disastrous, or sickly sweet. I thought the various quirks and insights from these two kids made them fascinating, rather than annoying (I know I’m not alone in being wary of “romance novel children”).

Unfortunately, though, there are some standards of behaviour that, when broken in historical romance novels, I can’t overlook. Hero and heroine openly – and frequently! – discuss sex while they are in public places and surrounded by members of the aristocracy. It was a little obscene, and people today wouldn’t have such inappropriate public conversations.

And then when the characters blatantly referenced Fifty Shades of freaking Grey, the magic was broken for me. I don’t want that sort of thing in my books ever, but especially not in historical fiction.

To be honest, by the 30% mark I was a bit bored.

What surprised me a lot was the fact there were so many obvious Americanisms. This is, after all, a prolific author of fiction set in England. For example, it was incredible that neither author nor editor is aware the season after summer is AUTUMN, not “the fall”.

I don’t think this was the best introduction to Eloisa James’ work, and I will try another book. She is clearly a brilliant writer, but this was not the book for me.


Review copy provided by NetGalley.

One thought on “Seven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #3) by Eloisa James

  1. Pingback: The Week: 13th – 19th March – Sonya's Stuff

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